The complainant, Justin Stayshyn, said radio coverage of a recent federal byelection not only bought into a conspiracy theory, it presented partisan spin as legitimate analysis. The dispute revolved around what a reporter meant when he attributed an idea to “observers”. Read on for my review….
You were concerned that a January 16, 2019 report on The World This Hour bought into a pro-Liberal narrative while reporting on what was, at the time, an upcoming federal byelection.
The story focused on a political candidate named Karen Wang. Ms. Wang was running for the Liberals against NDP leader Jagmeet Singh in the riding of Burnaby South. A controversy had erupted because she had posted a social media message in which she promoted her status as the “only Chinese candidate”, while noting that Mr. Singh was “of Indian descent.”
The radio story by CBC’s Evan Dyer focused on her apology and resignation from the race. Mr. Dyer noted that the Liberals had until February 4th to replace her as a candidate, then he broached the possibility that the Liberals might not replace her at all, adding this sentence:
Many observers believe the Liberal Party wants Singh to win the seat, believing that defeat might lead to a new NDP leadership race with unpredictable consequences for the general election this October.